Theoretically, Ace could pretty easily clear a baby gate, as he did the front steps in one hop from a standing start yesterday. (Apparently, he's feeling his oats, or whatever non-oat-eating-life forms feel when they feel it.) However, one of the very cool things about Briards is that they are boundary herders, which means its bred in their bones to respect and enforce man-made boundaries. (When doing the job they are designed for, they essentially function as living fences and gates.)
Just to give an example of how well this works, we were out in the back yard, which we share with the neighbors on the other side of the duplex, and the neighbor was grilling chicken on his side of the yard. Dog crack, right? The Briard walked to the invisible line that separates His Yard from the Other Yard, and did not cross it.
Now, Ace actually will wait quite patiently at the bottom of the stairs indefinitely, but it's a little too much temptation for any dog to expect him to stay downstairs without supervision (say, overnight) without a little reinforcement, especially when there are OMG KITTIES! upstairs.
Just now, he was sulking at me until I figured out he wanted me to go sit on the sofa so he could snuggle. Awww.
Also, Spring is coming:
In other news, on page 84 of the worst novel in the English language, and groveling forward. I keep wondering when the resignation is going to set in.
However, "Smile" finally started talking to me this morning, which is encouraging, even if it's really just my brain frantically trying to stop me from working on the novel. In a crowning irony, given how boring I usually find ghost stories (Beloved aside), of course "Smile" wants to be a ghost story.